Do you like Japanese noodles? There are various kinds of Japanese noodles such as ramen, soba noodles, udon noodles, fried noodles, and so on. In Akita, we also have one! That is “Inaniwa Udon”!
Inaniwa Udon is a traditional local noodle of Akita, Tohoku, Japan. It feels good going down, so we highly recommend you to try the taste! Actually, I visited its restaurant, Sato Yosuke shoten, to eat the delicious noodles!
Although its main store is in Yuzawa city, Akita, you can enjoy Inaniwa Udon in some areas inside and outside Akita! Today, I went to Sato Yosuke at Seibu Akita (Akita city).
The method of making this high quality Inaniwa Udon has been developed since 1665. At that time, Inaniwa Udon was actually given to the lord Satake of Akita clan. As you can see, it was such a luxurious food with long history. We can still enjoy Inaniwa Udon because the secret production method has been passed down from ancestors to descendants nowadays.
There are some Inaniwa Udon producers in Akita. In Sato Yosuke brand, they have 9 stores in Akita, 6 stores around Japan and 4 international stores in Hong Kong and Korea (*As of January 2021). In the main store in Yuzawa city, Akita, you can experience the factory tour as well. I visited the factory once, which was really interesting because I could find how those noodles are made. I’m from Akita, but it was a rare experience for me, too. By the way, Inaniwa area in Yuzawa city is in the countryside, so you can relax in the nature, too!
If you have any chances to drop by Akita station, there is another Sato Yosuke restaurant in Topico, a shopping mall in the station. The restaurant I visited was also located near the station, which is convenient to have a quick meal. I enjoyed my brunch time there!
This is “Aji-kurabe with Tempura” (1980 yen / *As of January 2021).
“Aji-kurabe” means to compare different tastes. So, I could compare the cold and hot Inaniwa Udon! The cold one especially looked shiny and beautiful!
Both of them felt great going down, but I thought the cold one was harder and the hot one was softer. Still, both tasted great! Why don’t you try them?
I love tempura, too! The seasonal tempura included shrimp tempura, fish tempura, pumpkin tempura and some vegetable tempura. They were crispy and soooooo tasty!!
In the restaurant, you can also buy Inaniwa Udon souvenirs, which you can cook them at home. Some of them are also sold locally in the supermarkets, department stores, stations, etc.
In addition to these Akita attractions, how about Japanese sweets, “Oshiruko”?
Walking a few minutes from Sato Yosuke restaurant in Seibu Akita shopping mall, I found a fancy Japanese-style café, “Mugen Sabo”. This is connected to another Inaniwa Udon restaurant “Mugendo”. So, you can eat Japanese sweets at “Mugen Sabo” and eat Inaniwa Udon lunch and dinner at “Mugendo” altogether.
Do you know what “Oshiruko” is? It’s the Japanese sweets made of red-bean paste. The combination of rich taste of red-bean and rice cake is perfect! It’s a hot desert so I like to eat it in winter!
Today, I had “Domyoji Shiruko” (630 yen / *As of January 2021). The pink rice cake was so cute! It tastes like a sweet rich soup of red-bean paste. This is really traditional Japanese sweets, I think. If you like something sweet, please put it into one of your plans in Akita city tourism! Enjoy foreign dishes!
Besides this Domyoji Shiruko, there are Shiratama Shiruko (with rice cakes), Matcha parfait (green tea flavor), Anmitsu (a traditional Japanese desert served in a bowl with some fruits, sweet black syrup, etc.) and more. At lunch time, “Hime lunch” is also served with mini Inaniwa Udon and side dishes. Just looking at the menu made me full. Haha!
It was a nice lunch and tea time! When you travel to Tohoku (the northern region of Japan), I hope you can find as much attractions as possible to make your trip fun!
~~~ Store Info ~~~
- Sato Yosuke, Akita
B1 floor, Seibu Akita, 2-6-1 Nakadori, Akita city, Akita, Japan
Open 11:00～21:00（LO 20:30）
*Open all year round（Except for holidays of Seibu Akita）
2. Mugen Sabo
2-4-12 Nakadori, Akita city, Akita, Japan
Open 11:00～18:00（LO 17:30）／*Mugendo（Lunch 11:00～14:00/ Dinner 17:00～22:00）
*Closed on the 2nd・the 4th Tuesdays (*Closed on Wednesday if it’s a national holiday)
*Open in August and December
＊From JR Akita station (West Exit): About 3～5 minutes on foot
＊From Akita Expressway (Akita-chuo IC): About 30 minutes by car・taxi
＊From Akita Airport: About 40 minutes by car・taxi ／ About 40 minutes by limousine bus～ From JR Akita station (West Exit): About 3～5 minutes on foot
~~~ Sato Yosuke (headquarter/ factory) ~~~
80 Inaniwa, Aza, Inaniwa-machi, Yuzawa city, Akita, Japan
*Factory Tour 9:00～16:00／Souvenir Shop 9:00～17:00／Restaurant 11:00～17:00
*Open all year round（Except for the year end through New Year holidays）
*Please check the schedule for factory tour.
＊From JR Akita station (West Exit): JR Ou Line “Yuzawa Station” (About 1 hour and 50 minutes) ～ By Ugo-kotsu bus (Yuzawa・Oyasu Line) “Inaniwa Nakamachi” ～ About 1 minute on foot
＊From Akita Expressway (Akita-chuo IC) ～ Yuzawa Yokote Road “Yuzawa IC” ～Sato Yosuke, headquarter (About 2 hours and 30 minutes) by car・taxi
＊From Akita Airport: About 1 hour and 40 minutes by car・taxi ／ About 40 minutes by limousine bus ～ JR Akita station (West Exit) JR Ou Line “Yuzawa Station” (About 1 hour and 50 minutes) ～ By Ugo-kotsu bus (Yuzawa・Oyasu Line) “Inaniwa Nakamachi” ～ About 1 minute on foot
Written by Naomi in Ugo
*As of January, 2021.